(For Aaron R Williams)
Places I’ve been would melt you;
the barrenness of iced-over marshes,
the grassy dropping cliffs of Moher
where our mother buried that lock
of your soft blonde hair
and piled smooth rocks atop the shallow grave.
Where our sister cut a lock of her own
and let the wind carry it over the edge
toward the fog-swept Aran island.
People I’ve loved would melt you.
You might have shook their hands roughly,
let them feel the scar on your knuckle.
You’ve been gone now much too long,
we’ve searched strange landscapes for blue,
rare but for sadness and your eyes.
Why must every drop be saved for the sea?
Voices I’ve heard would melt you
into a strange raw fear of
phrases like butter that warm on your lips,
but you cannot speak another word cannot
break the filmy membrane
between the living and the dead.
Had your voice been carried over Irish farms
and rung in the caves of the south sea,
had they sung into our mother’s wind-chilled hands;
instead we had only your name,
whispered over the cliff edge to drift on the waves
until at last it sank with a grief so deep and dark
it put the sea to shame.
For the month of September I will be living and working off-the-grid on remote Loggerhead Key with my mother, Beth Williams, a signature member of The Pastel Society of America, as the Dry Tortugas National Park 2019 Artists in Residency!
Our hope is to complete a manuscript for publication consisting of prose, poetry, and pastel and oil paintings all inspired by the Dry Tortugas’ effervescent marine landscape.
Wish us luck, and don’t use straws!
I am most honest in a bathtub,
watching water rise.
Give me the open window,
bleached tile, seclusion,
Each time I step out strong, clean
down to the molecule,
I have remembered I am
only one body.
Mr. Angelou received nightly
a hot dinner, a kiss, and 7 hours worth
of writing to proof-read before bed
in the motel room of the week:
as thanks, perhaps, or simply
out of love.
Proof that out of love is better than in,
at least with uncaged birds.
Honoré de Balzac wrote
14 hours a day in what he called
He still had time between
for 7 hours of sleep,
a bath, a nap,
fifty cups of coffee
I’d try that routine if I could, but
I only drink tea.
At night, I worry about missed connections. It was possible something minutely divine was at play, in the vein of spying the last ripe avocado, or ripping the tag off a new shirt. Life just seemed a little better for the sinfulness. A message here or there, a provocative dream, a craving late at night when they were each alone. If only they knew what was a beginning and what was a detour.
Tonight I worry that the future is too wide and we are too small; it absorbs us in a flash and we are gone, consumed… and the future yawns on and on.
Finally finished with this Lost and Found film based on early animation clips available at the Library of Congress. Follow this white rabbit into a lucid dream, and allow yourself for just a moment to reinvent your reality.
Hope you enjoy!
Last night I worried about guardian angels. Are they ever disappointed in us? Why do they stick around? What if they don’t get to choose who they are guarding; maybe if we don’t connect with them they disappear.
At night I worry that my cat thinks my hands are not of me, but rather entities I can sometimes control. She watches them most carefully while I sleep, ogles at the inconsistency of their patterns. Perhaps in her mind, only my hands stay alive each night when my body has fallen.